Episode 4 of The Expanse Season 6 picks up back in the Laconia system, with Cara concerned for Xan’s life. Her family’s posting was originally scheduled to head back to Earth, and specifically Paris. Born on Mars, they’ve never been there, and this has obviously delayed them.
Admiral Duarte arrives and sits with Cara, pointing out how grief-stricken he was in the past. He’s also lost people before but reassures the girl that what they’re doing is important. That night, Cara sneaks out with Xan.
On Ceres Station, Nico rallies the people and encourages them to stand together. Following the Belter explosives, fingers are pointed on all sides. Unfortunately, the Belters assume the Inners are responsible, not Marco.
One of the survivors from that blast happens to be Monica, who has recorded the entire incident. Realizing this could be beneficial, Avasarala combs over the footage she’s collected to see if there’s anything useful.
The footage really doesn’t look great, at least not according to Avasarala. The footage is devastating and she admits that this makes everyone look weak, showing the casualties of war and how devastating it is for the common man and woman to survive this hostile world. Monica though is convinced this is a good thing and could work in their favour.
En-route to Ceres, tensions flare on the Roci. When Amos finds out about the disarmed missile, he confronts Holden about his choice. Amos challenges his authority, pointing out that Holden doesn’t have a good explanation for what he’s done. At least not to him.
Holden’s real reasoning comes from Naomi, which he admits to he later on in the episode. The reason he disarmed the missile is because of Filip. He looks too much like Naomi and he couldn’t be responsible for killing her son. Killing everyone onboard The Pella – including her son – could change her perception of him, and he didn’t want that.
Naomi talks him around though, pointing out she could have been a martyr while serving as a prisoner on Marco’s ship but chose not to. She tried and failed to bring Filip back and knows that he could become a casualty of war. This is something she’s made peace with.
The only person aboard who doesn’t know about the missile is Bobbie, who remains oblivious. If she finds out it could cause massive problems, but Clarissa promises Holden she’s not about to tell her.
On The Pella, Marco’s grip continues to loosen. The Free Navy is in tatters and he refuses to listen to Rosenfeld’s concerns. He’s distracted, partly because of what happened to Filip, and she decides to try and rectify this.
Rosenfeld tries to convince Filip to talk to Marco but it’s actually Tadeo who helps him out, at least indirectly anyway. Tadeo’s brother was on Ceres Station and he’s concerned for his safety. There’s some really nice dialogue here about their bond, something that seems to touch Filip deeply as he reflects on his own estranged familial bonds.
The pair eventually work together and extract the wedged missile, bringing it inside. In doing so, they learn the missile was disarmed.
Rosenfeld eventually confronts Marco herself, pointing out he needs to take control of the Navy. Her loyalty to the cause is partly for personal gain. She wants to take control of the Governorship of Medina. The “Crossroads of empires” as Marco so eloquently puts it.
While all this is going on, Drummer works with her team to infiltrate the supplies. Unfortunately they’re blindsided by raiders. Drummer realizes they may not be alone and orders another sweep. Unfortunately a falling crate traps Josep’s arm, forcing a medic to hop aboard and try to patch him up. Eventually though it comes down to slicing his arm clean off.
Drummer, fueled by a heady cocktail of anger and grief, sends out a message for Marco, antagonizing him. So much for anonymity! “Live shamed, and die empty” She rasps, finishing the broadcast and sending it out. Of course, those aboard the Pella receive this message and, sparked by Filip’s impassioned, angry speech, remain determined to see this bloody fight through to its conclusion.
The Episode Review
The Expanse returns this week with another solid episode, one that continues to deepen the ties between our characters. The main focus here revolves around Holden’s decision to disarm the missile. This has wide-spreading consequences too, including The Pella using this missile for themselves.
The other intriguing plot point comes from how Avasarala is dealing with the footage Monica has obtained. The explosion inside Ceres has been interpreted as the Inners being responsible but of course, it’s Marco who’s to blame here.
Hopefully this footage will do enough to swing the people back to the voice of reason rather than following Marco’s Free Navy, which seems to be hanging by a thread. That is, until Camina calls them out and antagonizes the entire force. This decision alone could well have sparked them all into unifying to take her out.
The Expanse has been a solid watch once more this year and with only 2 episodes left, one of the best sci-fi series of recent memory looks on the verge of bowing out in spectacular fashion.